Nujira foundry partnership with TowerJazz to produce power-saving envelope-tracking IC for 4G apps



Nujira, a leader in Envelope Tracking (ET) technology, and TowerJazz, a specialty foundry leader, announced their partnership agreement will include production of Nujira's latest NCT-L1300 Coolteq.L ET modulator chip for LTE handsets. ET is the leading technology being developed to reduce power consumption of 4G smartphones in order to extend battery life. ET dynamically adapts the Power Amplifier (PA) supply voltage to the signal amplitude, and thus dramatically reducing dramatically the power consumption of the PA that transmits the signal to the antenna. Anyone who uses 4G phones experiences an empty battery much earlier than with 3G, sometimes in the middle of the day. There are several technologies being developed in order to reduce power consumption of such phones, but recently ET interfaces have become standardised on LTE basebands, which paves the way to a very high adoption rate of this technology. Nujira is the world leading company in ET and therefore is well positioned to take a large portion of the market. According to global information provider, IHS, the annual revenue for analog application specific ICs for 4G mobile handsets is forecast to grow from $827 million in 2012 to $2.9 billion by 2017, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 29% for the next five years. Nujira selected TowerJazz, the number one specialty foundry and fifth largest foundry worldwide, as its manufacturing partner in early 2012. With the launch of Nujira's NCT-L1300 ET modulator IC last month, the partnership is being extended as the new chip is geared up for volume production to support 4G smartphone shipments in 2014. The NCT-L1300 is fabricated in TowerJazz's proven 0.18 micron RF CMOS technology, used in hundreds of millions of RF front end devices with additional uniquely fitted HV modules. Nujira's NCT-L1300 delivers the best ET performance on the market across all key metrics and delivers power conversion efficiencies in excess of 80%, effectively doubling the efficiency of existing solutions. Tim Haynes, CEO, Nujira said: "Over the last year we've built an excellent relationship with TowerJazz; its processes offer us the ideal combination of high performance analog and power management capabilities. Nujira's ET ICs have the highest bandwidth, widest voltage range, fastest slew rates, and lowest output impedance in the market, placing significant demands on the underlying process technology. TowerJazz meets all of these stringent requirements and works closely with us to ensure a high success rate and competitive time to market." "As the world's largest specialty analog foundry, TowerJazz offers us the experience and capacity to address the high volume smartphone market, and enables us to meet the price points demanded by the world's largest smartphone vendors. Moving our new IC into volume production is a critical step for our business, and with its process expertise, wafer capacity and security of supply across multiple fabs, TowerJazz is the right foundry partner for Nujira," added Haynes. "Nujira's technology has huge potential, with ET technology heading towards a 100% attach rate in LTE smartphones in 2014. We are excited to be their partner and to be supporting them in volume production of their NCT-L1300. Nujira's chips combine wireless communications and smart energy, which are two high growth focus areas for TowerJazz," said Russell Ellwanger, TowerJazz CEO. "As one of the world's largest foundries and with capacity on three continents, TowerJazz offers a unique combination of speciality processes and wafer capacity, enabling high growth fabless IC companies like Nujira to rely on us as their silicon supplier." The NCT-L1300 is packaged in a low-profile Wafer-Level Chip Scale Package, and started sampling to lead customers in June. Nujira TowerJazz